Big day on Friday — the International hits the road

The beloved International, as she looked from the inside yesterday. By tomorrow, the re-upholstered bench seat should be installed.

A major event is happening in this city Friday, June 1 — the International is scheduled to be ready for the road. The old cornbinder, which I inherited from my dad, has been at Jay’s Service for the past seven years.

Bringing her back to life has required patience. The International has been moving in and out of the shop at Jay’s all those years, and has earned a bit of a following. People ask about it all the time. They want to know who owns it, if it’s for sale, or if it will ever see the highway again.

The question I get asked most often is, whose idea was it to paint it pink and gold? That would be my brother Bernie, way back when he and my father operated Wendego Lodge, the fishing camp at Tranquille Lake, and used the International to haul just about everything. Bern thought the original red paint job wasn’t distinctive enough, so he gave it new colours. No truck deserves to be pink and gold, but that’s water under the bridge. Some day, the beautiful red will be restored. For now, it’s enough to get it running.

There have been any number of delays in getting to this point. The latest was waiting for a metal worker to fashion a new floorboard panel so that my feet won’t drag on the pavement when I’ve driving. That done, we’re just about ready to hit this year’s June 1 deadline (every year, we have established a “this is the year” target and assign a fictitious deadline for getting it done — but this really is the year).

I snapped this picture of the interior yesterday. That isn’t the permanent seat, in case you were wondering. Kamloops Upholstery did a fabulous job of restoring the original bench seat, which had largely been consumed by pack rats. And while the rest of the truck still looks a mess, the seat will be comfortable and the motor will run like a damn.

If anyone out there knows where to source out 1955 IH bumpers and such, I’d appreciate knowing.

About Mel Rothenburger (9225 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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